iPhone 6 sales pushes iOS ahead of Android in US

The latest figures published by Kantar Worldpanel show that US sales of iOS devices are outpacing those of Android handsets. Just.

Buoyed by the launch of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple saw sales figures rising across Europe, the US and in China, with the smaller of its two smartphones proving to be the best-selling handset in the US.

Overall, iOS devices accounted for 47.7 per cent of smartphone sales, just managing to edge ahead of Android which dropped slightly to a 47.6 per cent market share.

The holiday period was key to this switch in popularity, as the iPhone 6 proved the most popular gift in 2014. But it's not just in the US that Android is losing its grip on the market.

In Europe - or the five biggest markets, Great Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Spain - iOS enjoyed a 6.2 per cent jump in the share of sales, while Android dropped 3.8 percentage points from the previous year. While Great Britain saw iOS's sales increase by 13.1 percentage points, Android's share of European sales dropped to 66.1 per cent.

Carolina Milanesi, chief of research at Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, said: "In the US, Apple iOS overtook Android for the first time since this time in 2012, albeit by the slimmest 0.1 per cent margin.

"While the success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus is unprecedented, this quarter’s performance also points to Apple having its strongest portfolio ever. With a range of devices available at different price points in both contract and pre-pay Apple was able to take advantage of a weaker Android offering at the premium end of the market".

Coming in second place behind the iPhone 6, Samsung's Galaxy S5 was the second most popular handset in the US, but Italy was the only European market in which Android sales grew.

For Windows Phone, it is pretty much business as usual. Sales remain low in the US (3.8 per cent) and China (0.7 per cent) and while things look slightly brighter in Europe, a 9 per cent share of sales still represents a 1 percentage point drop.

There was, however, slight growth for Windows Phone in France and Germany.

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